Understanding the Role of Tumor Suppressor Protein Cables1 in Cell Cycle Regulation

Swan, Kirby, Khanh Nguyen, and Stephanie Conant

The goal of our research is to understand tumor growth in humans by studying the knockdown of a cell cycle regulator and tumor suppressor protein named Cables 1.  Mutations in the Cables 1 gene have been observed in human colon, lung, endometrial, and ovarian tissue tumors.  The downstream effect of a loss of functional Cables 1 protein and tumor suppression that may lead to the development of cancer has yet to be defined. This lab successfully used small-interfering RNA (siRNA) to disrupt the transcription and translation of the Cables 1 protein in HeLa cells, an immortal mammalian tumor-cancer cell-line, and CHO cells, hamster ovarian epithelium cell-line. The disruption mimics naturally occurring mutations in this tumor suppressor protein. Identification and disruption of Cables 1 in various human mammalian tumor-epithelium cell lines with help us to determine downstream influence of Cables1 on other cell cycle regulator proteins that may be involved in preventing the development of tissue-specific tumors in humans such as Notch and Wnt. Understanding how disrupting the production of Cables1 drives tumor growth could help to identify novel molecular markers that can be utilized in diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of cancer.